A century after the great San Francisco earthquake and fire destroyed more than 28,000 buildings in California, a University of Missouri-Rolla researcher and three of his former Ph.D. students are writing two textbooks on seismic design.
Dr. Franklin Cheng, Curators’ Professor emeritus of civil engineering at UMR, and his students are writing “Smart Structures: Earthquake Engineering Applications,” to be published by CRC-Press. Smart structural systems are innovative concepts that have proven to be very effective in protecting structures by absorbing damaging energy or counteracting the force on the structure.
“Smart structure technology is being improved every day and unfortunately there is no complete technical reference in this field,” Cheng explains. “This book will provide a unified approach for all smart structure systems.”
Cheng and his students are also writing “Optimum Structural Design: Dynamic Loading Application,” to be published by Taylor and Francis. The major challenge in today’s structural engineering is to better design structures against damaging effects of strong winds and earthquakes, Cheng says.
“Until recently, the computing power needed for a large-scale system was non-existent,” Cheng explains. “The advent of fast computations and large data storage capacity has now made it possible to use structural optimization, not only in a research mode, but in the field too. The optimum design book will help professionals to make logical choices when designing for dynamic or seismic loads.”
Both books will encompass Cheng’s research results and teaching experiences in the past few decades and will be used as texts for graduate classes and references for practioners.
Cheng joined the UMR faculty in 1966 after earning his Ph.D. degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During his 40 years at UMR, Cheng has obtained grants from several funding agencies, including 37 grants from the National Science Foundation. His research interests include seismic resistant strictures for response behavior, optimum structural design and optimum structural control. He has authored, co-authored or edited 25 books and more than 250 publications. Cheng has received numerous honors, including 24 NSF delegations for formulating international research cooperation, four honorary professorships abroad, and two State-of-the-Art Awards from the American Society of Civil Engineers.